Lia Koenig

Lia Koenig was born in Poland in 1929. Her parents were both actors. During World War II, the family fled to the Soviet Union and performed in Tashkent and settled in Bucharest after the war. Lia’s parents did not encourage her to take up an acting career. At the age of seventeen, she married the actor Zevi Stolper, who was the first to notice her great talent and encouraged her to pursue it.
She was trained in the Stanislavsky method and began her acting career at the Bucharest Yiddish State Theater, where she soon became one of the outstanding young actors. In 1961, she immigrated to Israel, where, in spite of many offers to play in Yiddish theater, she decided to learn Hebrew in order to be integrated into the Hebrew theater. She studied the language intensively and, only five months after her arrival in Israel was invited to Habima National Theater and received her fist role in Hebrew. Shortly afterwards, a leading role followed. She has performed at Habima for over 40 years.
She is a virtuoso actress with a charismatic theatrical presence and a highly skilled performance range, which can easily shift from cabaret to serious realistic embodiments of a large variety of characters. In 1986, she was awarded the Israel Prize for her achievements as an outstanding actress. The prize committee based its choice on Koenig’s extraordinary performances in significant and complex roles in world drama and the noteworthy achievements of her acting. In her artistic work she combines first-class comic ability with a sensitive dramatic power. In 1999 she was awarded the Israel Theater Prize for her life’s work.
In 1998, after more than fifty years of marriage, she was widowed. The couple had no children.